Penske Net Up 1.9% on Stronger Car Sales

By FOXBusiness

Penske Automotive Group’s (NYSE:PAG) earnings edged up 1.9% in the fourth quarter amid stronger vehicle and same-store sales.

Its profit during the latest period was $48.6 million, or 54 cents a share, compared to $47.7 million, or 53 cents a share, a year ago. Earnings from continuing operations climbed to 57 cents a share from 47 cents, while the company noted that expenses related to insurance deductibles and cleanup after Hurricane Sandy cut its per-share earnings by a penny.

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Revenue jumped 19% to $3.37 billion, and same-store sales posted an 11.4% gain. Operating margin stayed level at 2.7%.

Analysts were expecting per-share earnings of 53 cents on revenue of $3.31 billion.

The auto-dealership operator, one of the nation’s largest, has now recorded sales growth for more than three years.

“I’m pleased that our retail automotive business reported record profitability in the fourth quarter, producing double-digit growth in operating income, income from continuing operations and earnings per share during the fourth quarter, despite the effects of Superstorm Sandy which impacted operations in the northeast U.S. during the quarter,” Chairman Roger Penske said in a statement.

New vehicle revenue, Penske’s largest segment, climbed 21% to $1.8 billion. Used-vehicle revenue was up 13% to $902.5 million. Service and parts revenue rose 9.2%.

Total retail unit sales increased 19% to 81,383 vehicles, with new vehicles up 22% and used vehicles up 16%.

Shares of Penske were down 90 cents, or 2.67%, to $32.67 Wednesday morning.